William Manson

(Cochranes of Annan, boiler contractors)

2003/1 William Manson interviewed in his own home in Edinburgh on 14/1/2003

Mr Manson grew up in Colinton village around the mills on the Water of Leith. He later worked for Cochranes of Annan who installed boilers into the mills around the Water of Leith area.

000 Born and brought up in Colinton. Mechanically minded, interested in mills. On West Mill Road there was A R Scott Porridge mill and Andrew Scott Mossy Mill. Traffic going in and out of mill. Vibration in house.

050 War shortages. Was evacuated to Mid Calder, bombing raids. MacDougall brothers ran the mill, was friends with sons. Meant he could go down to the mill.

093 Path through mill, public access. Cross under the railway line, path went beside the lade running into the mill. Used to get thrown out of the mill regularly. Friend lived in mill house.

130 Building near mill. Mill got scrap magazines and boxes. Paper processes; pulp was raised onto digesters by a crane. 2 digesters would work for 3 hours each. Metal boxes under digesters would catch pulp.

181 Men would fork material into boxes. Went to beaters, would filter out stray material. 2-3 hours in beaters, several beaters.

210 Material then pumped into chest. Fine gruel, onto wire screen. Direction of fibres

236 Suction boxes took water out of paper. Paper then fed into machine through felts. Steam fed cylinders and a series of hot rollers.

264 Beating paper with mallets to prevent creasing.

271 Static created, sparks jumping. Paper put onto reels, paper cut as rolling and put on another reel.

290 Storage area and finishing house. Trap door, reels would go onto pallet

304 2 machines; 1 for corrugating corrugated paper. Broke being fed back into the beginning of the process.

320 Cutting machine with rotating blade. 4 reels at a time in the machine. Helped out at mill when young. Would number reels with date, time and size. John fell through trap door, was on light duties. Fall of 25ft. No protective clothing.

374 Mechanical horses go up road. Steep incline, accident sledding down West Mill Road.

386 Lorries difficulty getting in and out. 2 road men sprinkling ash on the road.

396 Not many local people at Mossy Mill. Porridge factory had mill housing and allotments. Mill could not do large production.

411 Kinleith made paper for books. Paper used to wrap Kinleith paper was Mossy Mill.

422 End.

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